US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Alliance Work on Behalf of Pregnant Women Bears Fruit

Doctors in Texas are not required to report drug use by their pregnant patients, according to a recent opinion by the state’s attorney general. The Drug Policy Alliance together with other groups wrote to the attorney general in support of the rights of pregnant women in Texas.

Legal staff from the Drug Policy Alliance worked with National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), the Texas ACLU, local lawyers and other national advocates to challenge the policy of arresting pregnant women.

The Alliance also filed an amicus brief in a similar case in Missouri on behalf of a woman who was arrested for child endangerment for allegedly smoking marijuana while pregnant. The prosecutors dropped all charges against the defendant based on a Missouri statute which says that all toxicology tests performed on a mother or her newborn are confidential.

Even with these important victories in Texas and Missouri, a movement to arrest pregnant women who use drugs is spreading, with states like Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming now considering harsh new penalties.


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